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User Reviews by KVR Members for LuSH-101

Rate & Review LuSH-101 Now!

Reviewed By Aiynzahev on 30th October 2012
OS: Version: 1.1
9 of 10 people found this review helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo

When I got the beta I had no idea that they were working on an SH-101 type synth. I remember being impressed with the GUI and ease of use. I was mostly relieved that it was not full of bugs to be honest; nothing breaks down my workflow more. I made some presets for the factory bank as I was finding my way around the synth, I made a demo track also and went back to my normal duties.

A little while passed and in need of inspiration I thought I would open Lush. Whenever I get stuck for ideas I often will open up the most easy to use, basic and analog sounding synth I have at the time. As much as I love electronic music, without good raw synth sounds it doesn't quite hold my interest. I love electronic sounds and synths like Lush get me right back to the basics. They make you appreciate again exactly what is the square wave and the saw wave in their raw simplicity. Too many soft-synths sound dull, flat, lifeless, sterile, until you engage at least the filters. Not so with the best, Largo, Diva and Lush have some of the best raw oscillators around. Not the only ones mind you. This is when you fire up the init patch, hit some low keys and wonder if you really want to modify it anymore.

This brings me to my next point, In my review of DIVA I stated that some synths don't seem to respond very much to parameter changes. Sure the sound changes, but you don't get much feeling that the sound has transformed. In fact we seem to have problems in other digital algorithms too, reverbs sitting on top of a vocal and not enveloping it, Eq'd sounding just sounding the same except with some extra frequency sitting on top of it, "character" compressors not really taking on the sound, spitting out the sound compressed but somehow not really changed. I'd add to that list filters that don't seem to transform the sound of the synthesizer. I feel with some synths changing the filter actually changes the character of the sound, while on others it merely changes the timbre. Lush is a synthesizer which yields real changes with every tweak. There are so many great sounds to be found just by moving the controls a little at a time. This is the quality you want in a synth, unless you have some really good tweaks available.

Speaking of the filter, there are two models here, with LP HP and BP modes, Normal and SH-101. The SH-101 of course being the model of the Roland filter which they say is rougher and less even. There are some important hidden features in options which you should know about, although they are among the few hidden options on the synth at all, including sound quality and envelope behavior, which by default is not set up with the SH-101 mimics (!) so make sure to change that if you are looking for absolute faithfulness.

Speaking of faithfulness, I don't have and have never used an SH-101, so I don't know honestly how it compares. I've heard audio demos where they sound fairly different and audio demos where they sound identical. So not sure what's going on there, but it does sound good, and honestly that is what counts. If you are thinking of dumping your SH-101 on eBay make sure you give Lush a good run around first as peoples opinion on this varies.

Where this differs from the sh-101 is of course in its extra layers, effects, mixer, polyphony, unison and so on. The effects are top notch by the way, ranks above most other synths out there which is great for patch design and sketching ideas. The 8 layers can hold any preset timbre you make and combine them in the mixer, which by the well is fully featured with Eq, FX sends and a compressor with adjustable ratio. There are all well implemented and really do add value to this synth.

I won't run through every feature, most of it is on the front panel and one glance at the GUI will inform you of most of it, but I will mention it has a supersaw emulation for the sawtooth waveform which is very good, a hidden sync oscillator so you can still make sync sounds on this one osc synth and a great unison mode. This will give your CPU long term psychological disorders, but it sounds in a word: Lush. As I've said before, just because a synth has features it doesn't mean it has those features in a well implemented form. Some synths are really not up to standard in every area and we can forgive them, but polyphonic unison is not all that often implemented at all, and where it is it is not always very good, again Lush really delivers here.

You get the feeling D16 really took their time with this synth (three years I think) because the whole thing feels solid with clever features throughout.

As you can tell I really like Lush 101. There are some drawbacks however. There is no mod matrix, (which for me is actually a nice change as it forces me to be more creative with the basics), it can get very heavy on CPU with effects and unison enabled and it's also a little expensive. Although when you put it in context it's not far off the price of DIVA, Largo (which is actually more), and Sylenth1. I suppose though as Lush has not been around as long as these time will tell how people feel about its price. I am pretty sure it's going to be a widely used synth however, and I am pretty sure D16 intend to back this synth all the way. Not long after releasing this synth they put out 1.1, which included among other things the ability to hide the keyboard. Many users were complaining that the GUI was just too large and the keyboard took up much needed space on their screens, this also have a road map listed on their website which also includes a more extensive mod matrix. I would like them to make the GUI a little larger though (excluding the keys) as the text is a little small, although by now I know where everything is anyway so it's not a big deal.

Though a great all-rounder I wouldn't go so far as to call it the only synth you need, it's much harder to create an entire track from one synth than it is form a mix of synths, and even if you did it's still not versatile enough to be the only synth you'll ever need for any production. I think Lush is a great all-rounder though and really excels at pads, plucks, keys and interesting analog style sounds.

One point is knocked off because the sync sound isn't the nicest to my ears, I don't like the sound with resonance very high, it doesn't sound sweet to me. The price is not going to affect my rating, since it is priced around the same as DIVA and is cheaper than Largo and I think for the overall quality and originality it is suitably priced.

Click here to read all 4 reviews

Discussion: Active



18 October 2012 at 5:17pmcalande

I think this synth has potential, however, I cannot use it because, although my computer is recent and quite powerful, when I play notes on my keyboard, there is a 2-3 second delay, the sound is crispy and my CPU meter is above 90%...I bought this computer recently and it works well with others plugins...

Although the presets are not very interesting to me, the functions allow you to make some interesting sounds that remind somehow the SH-101, especially with the distortion effect. But of course it's a little weak when you open the filter with the distorsion on, compared to an SH-101. Nice to take some time playing around with it though. It's a nice synth.

20 October 2012 at 2:33pmFreth

I have a PC with a quad core 3.2ghz, 12GB RAM and Windows 7. I also have a Mac Mini with a 2.7ghz quad core, 8GB RAM and Mac OS X Mountain Lion. I downloaded the demo of LuSH-101 for both and decided to give it a try. First on the Mac, I installed it and loaded up Logic Pro 9. I began recording random notes in monophonic, then try some of the polyphonic. Logic Pro began to start to lag, pop and crack and couldn't keep up with the instrument. I then loaded the demo into FL Studio using my 3.2ghz PC. I was able to add two independent LuSH-101 instruments and record polyphonic without any trouble whatsoever. Conclusion: Poor software design on the Mac, not by D16, but by Apple. Logic Pro doesn't appear to be very plug-in friendly and I suspect that the AU wrapper that has to be used could be part of the problem. Keep in mind Logic Pro 9 was loaded in 64-bit mode. Unless you have a high-end Mac or are happy with the limitations you have to impose on the instrument to make it work, you're not going to get much out of this instrument and Logic Pro in my opinion. I was excited about buying it, not for the PC, but for Logic Pro. Now that my hopes are dashed, my only choice is to use it with FL Studio or wait and hope that Logic Pro X will be way more efficient and plug-in friendly. The instrument itself is amazing and has everything you need at your fingertips to create great sounds. LuSH-101 is a winner, but on the Apple side at least, we have to wait for catch-up.

27 October 2012 at 2:54amPUSHA



2 November 2012 at 7:29pmSolaris2012

PUSHA the lag might be coming from your audio driver's buffer length being set too long, i'm using fl studio as well and it works fine.

3 November 2012 at 8:01amlagrangeaudio

It makes me laugh all these people complaining about high CPU loads. To put this into perspective my desktop is a 2.8Ghz Core 2 Duo with 2Gb RAM running WinXP SP3. Pretty much at the lower end of D16's recommended spec. LuSH runs brilliantly on my machine. Here's why:

1) Firstly as a computing professional it amazes me just how many people have poor running machines. Too many unnecessary processes, devices, services etc etc If your music is important to you then configure your machine exclusively for music and don't install and run anything you don't need. Perform regular maintenance such as reg cleans, temp file removal, defrag etc you would be amazed what a difference these simple things make.

2) LuSH-101 is actually 8 synths, not 1. Too many people treat it as one single synth but this is not the case. Each layer is a polyphonic synth in its own right with unison, supersaws and effects. Look at it this way, take your favourite poly synth now and put 8 of them into your DAW. I'm pretty sure your CPU usage is going to be as high, if not higher than LuSH. Comparing it's CPU usage with other synths is unfair and invalid.

8 November 2012 at 10:29pmdudek

Well i second your statement in 1). A audio workstation is for audio only. Nothing else ... Even i run a intel 6 core CPU it allways amazed me to see that the CPU has a low load of 15 % whilst ASIO loads spike the 100 % and clip. These are things "too many people" can't change just with shutting down unnecessery processes and the things you stated. They need better soundcards respectively good ASIO Drivers ... Intel should have supported direct ASIO instead of video into their cpu's with direct RAM access.

2) 'bout the shioitor or LuSH: Same exp. with ASIO and CPU loads. I really wonder where that comes from.

Maybe you as a computing pro can answer this ?

15 November 2012 at 3:43amaaron aardvark

I have spent some time with LuSH-101 and it does have a number of good presets. It does put a drain on the computer though. I'm surprised I have not seen this synth reviewed in a magazine (that I recall). I wonder how the magazines will like it.

29 November 2012 at 6:03pmdjsyruz

Running it on a 09 macbook pro. 2.53ghz Dual-Core with 4gb of RAM with mountain lion 10.8 and its runs great, no lag issues at all. This synth sounds amazing, I am very impressed.

3 April 2013 at 12:17pmMarando

LuSH-101 has presets that use multiple layers. Please keep in mind that any layer is in fact a complete synth on it's own. So when you are comparing a 3 layer LuSH preset to a (obviously 1 layer) Diva preset, you are comparing apples and oranges. It's not weird that LuSH uses more CPU in that scenario.

I made some nice sounding presets with both LuSH and DIVA and in my experience, the CPU load of LuSH is not higher than DIVA, when you make comparable sounds.

3 April 2013 at 8:22pmTheoM

Tough review and unfair. the synth sounds stunning, and you rate it purely on CPU usage without even saying what CPU you USE.

Anyway, i voted not helpful as besides the negativity which i can accept as e all have different opinions, you hardly said anything else about the product at all.


3 April 2013 at 8:38pmliquidsound


Actually it's not a review but a complaint.

On the D16 site the requirements are : i7 based 3.7 GHz recommended.

That should give him a hint.

5 April 2013 at 5:49amTheoM

and yet it runs just fine and i have tested the entire preset bank, yes it uses an entire core, but of my 2.2 i7 laptop? that is way under their requirements and works absolutely fine here! so there to the reviewer hehe.

12 April 2013 at 1:50pmAiynzahev

I know they are working on getting this to run faster on all systems. Not just Intel I believe.

4 May 2013 at 7:22amrob_lee

The modulation limitations on this is a complete joke.. Where ARE THEY? It's very very limited in that department.. sure i can program the top sounds in this synth but someone's AVIN A BARF here at D16.. sort it eh? A top synth let down by the lack of modulations routings.. i won't do a review on this yet cause i hear this is gonna be rectified however at this point in time i give it a 10/10 for sound and FX but a 1/10 for the modulations - joke!!.


9 August 2013 at 8:58ammuelb

OK Guys, if anyone read my review correct, he will see that I criticize the lack of multicore support. There are multicore cpu's out in the market since 2006 (to be correct for the computing expert above, it's since 2007 the dual core of intel is on the market). As a programmer beginning with a project: If I know, I will program a resource-beast of a vst, I never try to program it for a single core. That was clear already since 2010! If the synth was not planed resource hungry like this... ok this could be a reason. But I bought it in the meaning that at least the presets are playable on my (not so slow) Hardware. And the VST has been released in october 2012, so it's now 10 months and nothing happened since then.

I don' have a problem with resource-killer synth vst's, but if the other 5 core's are sleeping it's annoying. In my review I cannot give a better rating before the programmer has done his homework, sorry.

My dedicated DAW-machine is a Hexacore with 3.2 GHz and 16GB of RAM running with a RME Multiface. So it's not to bad, I don't have any similar problems with my other vst's. That's the only thing I wanted to say with my review.

2 November 2013 at 9:11amKrakatau

Just check it out, i'm blown out by the sound added to the multitimbral possibilities,being on iMac 2.8Ghz i7, sure that multicore support would be highly appreciated : it might definitely unlashed it full potential for me...

31 January 2014 at 11:32pmBudbud

I REALLY regret buying this! I purchased TWO different third party presets packs from two different vendors and in addition to the money that I spent on those, I've literally wasted DAYS, that's right DAY'S trying anything and everything to get Lush to recognize and load them to no avail. I've NEVER had trouble loading third party presets for other synths. This synth is VERY quirky and has me going insane. I don't know how many times I've contacted customer support from d16 and the presets pack vendors and I've done EVERYTHING they've ALL told me to do multiple times as well. I'm sorry, but it's simply IMPOSSIBLE to load third party presets into this synth and that makes it a GIANT loser for me. I'm going to see if I can sell it, as the amount of anger and frustration this synth has caused me has REALLY put me off to the whole thing. I'll also NEVER even consider another product from d16.

1 February 2014 at 11:09amxamido

But does it warrant a 1 out of 10 review rating? That's just knee jerk.

1 February 2014 at 11:21ampaterpeter

I'm sorry that you're experiencing technical issues. But apparently you did something wrong, because LuSH definitively loads 3rd party presets. On Windows, copy the presets to "%APPDATA%\Roaming\D16 Group\LuSH-101\Presets" and you're good. Actually, that's where the factory presets are located. Maybe you're having issues with access rights or user accounts.

Anyway, giving a rating of 1 is completely unjustified and a lame move IMO. The rating feature is not there for you to vent your frustration. Did you ask for help in the forums?

1 February 2014 at 12:43pmKrakatau



15 May 2014 at 8:04ammig jorn

Hi, let me help here. I spent a night on this .

Access hidden user library files | Mac OS and later In the Finder, choose Go > Go To Folder. In the Go To Folder dialog, type ~/Library Click Go.


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